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Monday, August 25, 2008

Operation Scheduled Departure

According to the New York Times:

This month, the Bush administration rolled out a new strategy to solve illegal immigration and just as quickly rolled it back in. It was called Operation Scheduled Departure, and it was simply this: It asked people to turn themselves in.

Guess how many took the government on this supposed offer?


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bishop Aids Out of Status Aliens

A Rhode Island bishop is helping out of status aliens and suggesting that the state and federal authorities should go elsewhere.

What are your thoughts?


Friday, March 14, 2008

Password Self-Incrimination

According to this Washington Post article, a man is suspected of having child pornography on his computer but the files are encrypted. The FBI wants the man to type in his password to decrypt the illegal photos. The man argues that to do so would constitute self-incrimination. So far the judge agrees with the suspect.

"If [he] does know the password, he would be faced with the forbidden trilemma: incriminate himself, lie under oath, or find himself in contempt of court," the judge said.

So far the judge agrees, what are your thoughts?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jack Welch on Immigration

Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, has some interesting perspectives on immigration from a practical perspective. Key quote:

It’s a managerial one, and any plan that suggests that the US deport illegal workers violates one of management’s cardinal rules: you have to face reality. Forget the notion that illegal immigrants will suddenly heed “the law of the land” and pack their bags.

The problem with the debate on immigration is that it is not a question of black and white at this point. The United States has neither the resources nor the motivation to round up 11 million individuals and deport them. It simply is not going to happen. With that said, what do we do? This is one those areas that there is going to be no "right" answer. However, it seems that most Americans are united in their belief that something should happen.

Nichols & Eberth, PC ask:

1. What would you do with the illegal immigrants currently in this country?

2. Are you in favor or amnesty and/or a path to citizenship for those here illegally?

3. What should happen to employers who hire illegal immigrants?

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Catholic Church Advocates More Protection for Immigrants

Many are surprised to learn that the Catholic Church has been a long-standing proponent of immigrant's rights since the early part of the 20th Century. Thus, in keeping with their traditional stance towards immigration, two Bishops met with Department of Homeland Security Director, Michael Chertoff about immigration policy.

Nichols & Eberth, PC ask:

1. Do you think that it is appropriate for the Catholic Church to advocate in support of immigrants?

2. Why do you believe the Catholic Church is taking this position?

3. Do you think that religious leaders in this country will change the debate as it relates to illegal immigration?

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Oklahoma Passes the Toughest Immigration Laws

The Oklahoma legislature passed a sweeping new law that many are suggesting is the toughest against illegal immigrants in the nation.

One quote stands out "You don't have to round up 20 million {which is 9 million more than most experts have estimated} aliens," Berman said. "Stop the two free benefits you're giving them-free health care and free education- and they'll go back across the Rio Grande."

It is important for us to correct the misleading elements of this. No illegal immigrant is entitled to any means-based assistance such as Medicaid, Medicare, Welfare or any other service. If people hear otherwise they are incorrect. What happens sometimes is that many non-profit and religious organizations (in particular the Catholic Church) aid illegal immigrants. However, this aid is not from the government, it is purely private. Additionally, with respect to health care specifically, the issue is that no hospital may turn away an individual in an emergency. Regarding education, by enacting such a law are we not punishing the children for the decisions of their parents?

Nichols & Eberth, PC ask the following questions:

  1. Do you advocate a policy where a hospital can selectively turn away those in medical crisis? For example, someone calls 911 due to a heart attack. Do think that EMS or a doctor should say "what is your immigration status?" before treating them?
  2. Do you think that children of illegal immigrants should be eligible to go to school? If you do not think so, what do you propose to do with the young children who are already here?
  3. Many children of illegal immigrants are, in fact, US Citizens, does your opinion of 2 above change? If so, why?
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Naturalization Delays

USCIS has suggested that, due to a surge in the number of Naturalization applications, the processing times are going to be substantially increased. Instead of a 7-9 month process, it is likely that it will be 18-24 months.

In his testimony before the House committee, Gonzalez said: “This surge will have a serious impact on application processing times for the next couple of years. As a result, based on our response plan, most customers will wait much longer to have their applications completed. As we have reported, the average processing time for naturalization applications has increased from the current average of seven months or less to approximately 18 months. Family-based adjustment-of-status applications increased from the current average of six months or less to 12 months. Our two-year response plan will help us accomplish reducing processing times to six months by the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2010.

Director Gonzalez has suggested that the delay is due to the dramatic increase in the filing fees as well as political uncertainty. However another possibility is that immigration attorneys are advocating naturalization far more than in years passed due to growing anti-immigrant sentiment that is sweeping the US as well as strict measures that impact permanent residents such as the PATRIOT ACT. It is far more common today, than in years passed, for a permanent resident to be deported and the only true guard against this is naturalization.

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A Judge, a DUI and a Purse

As attorneys we tend to be a fairly serious bunch most of the time. Additionally, it is incumbent upon attorneys to demonstrate judicial deference for that is how the entire system has operated for centuries. However, the legal profession also needs to see humor and irony when it stares them at the face.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports:

A Boston-based federal judge wore a black cocktail dress, fish-net stockings and high heels when police arrested him for drunk driving after he rear-ended a pickup truck last week, sources said.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Somma, 63, struck a plea deal with the city Wednesday in which he pleaded no contest to a first-offense misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge in Manchester District Court. In exchange, the judge agreed to pay $600 in fines and penalties and a 12-month license suspension, which can be reduced to six months if he proves he successfully completed a driver education and alcohol awareness course, court records show.

The arresting officer made no mention of the judge's attire in the written report police provided to the media other than to note the judge "had a difficult time locating his license in his purse."{emphasis added}

It is certainly not our place to judge the Judge lest we be judged ourselves.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Burgh Diaspora: Knowledge Economy Geography for New Pittsburgh

Burgh Diaspora: Knowledge Economy Geography for New Pittsburgh

This article opines that the Rust-Belt, where Nichols & Eberth, PC is proudly located, could be helped by an infusion of capital coming from immigrants. Many people are surprised to hear that one can legally "buy" a green card for between $500,000.00 and $1,000,000.00. Unlike many other countries' investment visas, the US requires that the investor be an active participant in the business venture. However, with careful structuring of the business operation, day-to-day management is generally unnecessary. The investment pilot program started in the last decade but was not widely used. In fact, out of an allocated 10,000 visas, only 3,000 are used each year. Part of this is the shear complexity of the process, while the other hindrances have come in the form of unscrupulous companies preying on investment-minded immigrants.

Going back to the linked story, Detroit could certainly use a capital infusion. With just 250 investors, over $125 million in capital could be invested in Detroit.

Attorneys at Nichols & Eberth, PC are experienced in investment visas, both with the pilot program and stand-alone programs. Should you wish more information, please visit our site at: www. .

Michigan passes new driver's license bill

Due to the interpretation of an Attorney General's opinion, on January 22, 2008, Michigan became the first state in the union to restrict drivers licenses to legal non-immigrants, including students, executives, research scientists and professional workers. While immigration advocates were quite vocal in their opposition, it was the Michigan Chamber of Commerce that finally had the political muscle to change the law which Governor Granholm is expected to sign shortly. Here is a copy of the final bill.

2007-HEBS-4505 final bill.pdf


1. Do you think that illegal or undocumented aliens should have drivers licenses?

2. If you do not think so, how do we track those who are in this country?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Homeland Security to forego background checks on green care applicants

In yet another example of the Department of Homeland Security's inconsistency in the field of immigration, DHS indicated that they will forego advanced background checks for up to 47,000 green card applicants. While all have gone through a criminal background check and fingerprint check, the names check and other intelligence checks will be temporarily abated. According to published reports, DHS will eventually conduct the lengthy background checks and if there is an issue, the applicant will be immediately removable (i.e. deportable).

This issue is glaring example of the general inefficiency of our nation's immigration policy. With all the rhetoric of national security and the calling for permanent walls on the US Southern border, this current practice only seems to underscore that we have no consistent national immigration policy.It seems legally incongruent that we would identify Amy Winehouse as being an 'undesirable', but then allow an individual who could have ties to terrorism to have a green card. Additionally, it underscores that our intelligence community is effectively broken. If it takes years to conduct a comprehensive background check on an individual; how does this offer the public any assurance of security? WIth all the tough talk of the PATRIOT Act, it has been implemented in an ad hoc fashion.

On the other side of the matter, many of these people who are applying have been waiting for years and there is no indication of when a decision will be reached. This effectively clogs the system and creates enormous backlogs that impact every aspect of immigration.

One amusing statement in the linked Washington Post article is the FBI's proposed interim solution. They proposed "contracting" additional FBI officers. That is, they are outsourcing this!


QUESTION: 1. What are your thoughts on this prescient matter?

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